Seventeen Species of Bats Recorded from Barro Colorado Island, Panama Canal Zone
by E. Raymond Hall
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Seventeen Species of Bats Recorded from Barro Colorado Island, Panama Canal Zone



University of Kansas Publications

Museum of Natural History

Volume 5, No. 37, pp. 641-646

December 1, 1953

University of Kansas




Editors: E. Raymond Hall, Chairman, A. Byron Leonard, Robert W. Wilson

Volume 5, No. 37, pp. 641-646 December 1, 1953




Seventeen Species of Bats Recorded from Barro Colorado Island, Panama Canal Zone



Our aim is to bring up to date the list of kinds of bats actually known from Barro Colorado Island, Panama. In 1952 Samuel T. Dickenson, Marguerite Schultz, George P. Young, and E. Raymond Hall spent the first 17 days of April (except Mrs. Schultz who left on April 8) on Barro Colorado Island. On eight evenings a silk net, 30 feet long and 7 feet high with a 3/4-inch mesh, was stretched in an open place to intercept bats. On the first five nights it was stretched in the laboratory clearing. On April 6 the net was erected in the forest across the Barbara Lathrop Trail 25 feet past its entrance; on the 7th and 8th the net was placed across the Snyder-Molino Trail at the Termite Cemetery, 150 yards southwest of the new (built in 1952) laboratory.

William B. Jackson was on the island from January 30 to June 6, 1952, as a member of a group from the American Museum of Natural History. On May 4 he set the bat net across Allee Creek at the beginning of the Barbara Lathrop Trail, and from May 5 to 27 he set the net in the Termite Cemetery where it was mounted between two small trees with its lower edge approximately 5 feet above the ground. Unless otherwise stated, specimens were caught in this net.

On Barro Colorado Island one aim is to preserve the biota and natural conditions with as little interference from man as possible. Consequently most of the bats captured were released after being wing-banded by Jackson with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service bat bands; but an attempt was made, with the permission of Mr. James Zetek, Resident Custodian of the Canal Zone Biological Area administered through the Smithsonian Institution, to save one or a few specimens of each species for positive identification. Catalogue numbers are of the University of Kansas, Museum of Natural History, unless otherwise indicated. We are obliged to Mr. Colin C. Sanborn and Mr. Robert J. Russell for checking our identifications of the specimens. Assistance with field work is acknowledged from the Kansas University Endowment Association, the United States Navy, Office of Naval Research, through contract No. NR-161-791, and Mr. James Zetek.

Six species of bats were recorded from Barro Colorado Island by Professor Robert K. Enders in his "Mammalian Life Histories from Barro Colorado Island, Panama" (Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool., at Harvard College, 78: 383-502, 5 pls., October, 1935). With his list as a starting place we can offer a revised list as follows:

Saccopteryx bilineata (Temminck).—Nos. 45061, 45062, 45097, and 402 and 404 of Jackson. Nonpregnant female No. 45061 captured on April 3 weighed 7.0 grams; No. 45062 captured on April 4 contained one embryo 22 mm. long. It was common to see several bats of this species, not in a cluster but with a few inches of space between any one bat and its neighbors, on the vertical screens that covered the airways beneath the eaves of the buildings. A colony was established in Zetek House (a trail-end house on the western side of the Island), and several individuals often were seen in the Tower House. As many as 50 individuals could be found at the Van Tyne Big Tree (Bombacopsis Fendleri) where they hung singly in the shaded inter-buttress spaces and on the exposed trunk sometimes up to a height of 100 feet. Occasionally several individuals would be seen in inter-buttress spaces of large trees on other parts of the Island. These bats were more alert during the daylight hours than were most other kinds of bats and could be approached and captured only with considerable difficulty. From the various colonies 13 females and 3 males were banded.

Noctilio leporinus mexicanus Goldman.—Seen in Wheeler Estuary by Enders (op. cit.:416) who uses the subspecific name N. l. leporinus. Goodwin (Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist., 79:121, May 29, 1942) later used the subspecific name N. l. mexicanus for this species in Panama.

Micronycteris megalotis microtis Miller.—Enders (op. cit.:417) obtained specimens of this species from the underside of a fallen log and in a hollow tree at marker No. 23 on the Pearson Trail.

Phyllostomus discolor discolor Wagner.—Taken from a hollow tree by Enders (op. cit.:417).

Glossophaga soricina leachii (Gray).—No. 45073, April 5.

Carollia perspicillata azteca Saussure.—No. 400 of Jackson taken at Allee Creek and Barbara Lathrop Trail and No. 52456 (410 of Jackson) at Termite Cemetery. These two nonpregnant females weighed 14.7 and 17.7 grams, respectively. Two ([Male] and [Female]), caught at Termite Cemetery were banded and released.

Carollia castanea H. Allen.—Males, 45080 and 45081, weighed 11.8 and 11.5 grams; at 9:30 P.M., on April 6, on Barbara Lathrop Trail.

Vampyrops helleri Peters.—Male, No. 45095, in net on April 4; weighed 15 grams.

Vampyressa minuta Miller.—Lactating female, No. 45094, weighed 10.0 grams. At 10:30 A.M. at the outer end of the Armour Trail, Young and Hall had barely paused to listen to animal sounds when they saw this bat alight on a breast-high twig of a bush beneath large trees in the gloom of the forest. Possibly it had been disturbed when the zoologists a few seconds before had pushed aside bushes that partly obstructed the trail.

Vampyressa nymphaea Thomas.—Nonpregnant female No. 52455 (403 of Jackson) weighed 10.3 grams and was taken at the Termite Cemetery on May 8. So far as we know, this specimen provides the first record of occurrence in North America of this species which previously had been recorded only from South America.

Chiroderma isthmica Miller.—Male No. 45096, April 2; weighed 13.7 grams.

Vampyrodes major G.M. Allen.—Male No. 45085, weighed 33 grams. It and the one Chiroderma isthmica on the morning of April 2 constituted the total catch found in the net stretched in the open clearing between two cabins.

Artibeus lituratus palmarum J.A. Allen and Chapman.—Nonpregnant female No. 45086 taken on evening of April 7, weighed 68.0 grams. No. 401 of Jackson taken on May 6 weighed 53.5 grams and contained one embryo 12 mm. long; his No. 409 taken on May 10 weighed 53.7 grams and contained one embryo 15 mm. long.

Enders (op. cit.:418) took specimens of Artibeus jamaicensis jamaicensis in Panama and possibly on Barro Colorado Island; he is not specific as to locality.

Artibeus cinereus watsoni Thomas.—Male No. 45087 on April 8; weight 13.6 grams. Ingles (Jour. Mamm., 34:267, May, 1953) records the finding of as many as three of these bats on the Island in a "tent" that the bats had made of a frond of the palm, Geonoma decurrens.

Thyroptera tricolor albigula G.M. Allen.—On May 10 along the Snyder-Molino Trail 50 meters from its beginning Dr. E.R. Dunn found in a curled Heliaconia leaf a group of four bats of this species. A lactating female (No. 405 of Jackson), a young male (No. 406 of Jackson) attached to its mother's teat, and a male (No. 407 of Jackson, now 52457 K.U.) weighed, respectively, 4.8, 2.2, and 4.0 grams. The young one remained attached to the mother when she flew about the laboratory. The fourth specimen, a male, was banded and released. These bats with the aid of suction cups on their wrists and ankles hung head up in the rolled leaf and on places in the laboratory on which they alighted. This species was previously recorded (see Enders, op. cit.:421) from Barro Colorado Island, on the basis of other specimens also captured by Professor Dunn.

Myotis nigricans nigricans (Schinz).—Nos. 45089-45091 and No. 408 of Jackson. Nos. 45090 and 45091 were plucked from under the eaves of buildings, but No. 45089 was caught in the net on the evening of April 5. Jackson found this species to roost between the corrugations of the metal roof and the underlying wooden supports. He banded 14 individuals, most of which were pulled with forceps from their resting places in the old laboratory or the kitchen. All were males. Five were recaptured from one to 13 days after banding, and two were found in the places from which they originally had been plucked 13 days previously. Enders (op. cit.:421) found this species to be abundant about the laboratory where it spent the day hanging under the eaves.

Molossus coibensis J.A. Allen.—Males Nos. 45092 and 45093 weighed 13.9 and 10.0 grams. They were taken in the clearing on April 3 and 5. Enders (op. cit.:421) found this bat under the eaves of the laboratory along with Myotis nigricans.

* * * * *

On April 19, 1952, Dr. Harold Trapido kindly took Young, Dickenson, Hall, and Dr. and Mrs. E.R. Dunn to the Experimental Botanical Gardens at Summit in the Canal Zone where Nos. 45082-45084 of Uroderma bilobatum Peters were saved. On the same date Doctor Trapido took the five of us also to Chilibrillo Cave in Panama 10 miles north of Pedro Miguel where specimens were saved as follows: Saccopteryx bilineata (Temminck), 45059 and 45060; Phyllostomus hastatus panamensis J.A. Allen, 45063-45072; Lonchophylla robusta Miller, 45074-45075; Carollia perspicillata azteca Saussure, 45076-45079; Natalus mexicanus saturabus Dalquest and Hall, 45088.

Transmitted July 20, 1953.



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